Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Before I get to the topic at hand, two things:
1.) Be sure to visit the Monster Kids site, where the lovely photo of Boris at the comic rack came from and...
2.) A reminder: if you're a fan and you haven't already voted for "Scared Silly" for BEST BLOG in the Rondo Awards, please do so by Saturday, April 3rd. It's easy to do - just click on the aqua-green banner above for details. Thanks!
Now, I wanted to share some fun horror-comedy cartooning with you. The idea of mixing humor and scares isn’t exclusive to live-action movies. We’ve previously taken a look at some animated films that fit the bill, and today I’m going to concentrate on non-animated cartooning – specifically providing links to examples of horror-comedy in magazine cartoons, newspaper comic strips and comic books.
Let’s start with John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy and one of the key directors behind the classic 1980s Saturday morning cartoon, “Mighty Mouse: the New Adventures.” Kricfalusi recently posted about the fine monster-oriented work of cartoonist Paul Coker, and you can see his post when you click here.
Next up, a blogger named Mykal who maintains the wonderful “Big Blog of Kids Comics” offers some classic Dick Briefer comic book art on the comedicized Frankenstein monster. Click here to check it out.
Where to begin when discussing comics writer-artist John Stanley? I’ll let you hit the search engine on him so you can enjoy the wealth of riches that is his legacy. In the meantime, I’ll send you over to Doug Gray’s Greatest Ape blog where you can read an entire Melvin Monster story by clicking here.
Legendary cartoonist Fred Hembeck has been drawing riotously funny lampoons of famous comic book characters for years as well as his own hysterical comic stories and characters. A few Halloween’s back he highlighted comics of a spooky nature, and you can click here to see what issues he selected.
Art Baltazar is a great cartoonist whose comics are full of vim, verve and werewolves. Well, wolf boys to be exact, as in Patrick the Wolf Boy, who you can learn about by clicking here. I don’t know for sure but I can’t help but wonder if not only his look but also Patrick’s name was inspired by Herman and Lily Munster’s werewolf son (or is he a vampire - hard to tell - but he has a werewolf doll at least) Eddie, played by Butch Patrick.
Over in the funny pages… literally… you can check out Mark Buford’s newspaper comic strip “Scary Gary.” But being the internet age, you don’t necessarily have to buy a newspaper – the kind folks at Creator’s Syndicate have made the daily exploits of Gary and crew available online when you click here.
Mark Engblom offers Comic Coverage at the blog of the same name, and one of the blog’s great delights is the “Cover to Cover” feature. In the movies, the Frankenstein Monster only met Dracula, the Wolf Man and Abbott & Costello, but in comic books, he met everyone including Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis… and Mark offers the covers to prove it when you click here.
The Frankenstein Monster wasn’t the only creepy creature Bob Hope met. Scared Silly pal BookSteve has an interesting post about the great ‘60s comic Stanley & His Monster and the one instance where Bob Hope met the pair… wonder if his experiences with “The Cat & the Canary” and “The Ghost Breakers” helped him deal with the Beast with No Name. Click here to find out.
What the heck - let's talk about a few animated silly scares too, shall we?
Let's start with Scared Silly buddy Pierre Fournier who has taken several looks at classic animated cartoons on his essential Frankensteinia blog. His latest entry is on a vintage Warner 'toon that pits Porky Pig against the Frankenstein Monster. Conveniently for us, he includes the links to all his previous animated entries at the bottom of the post. Just click here to let the laughs begin.
Another Scared Silly pal is none other than Jay Stephens. The talented comic book writer-artist has also created some acclaimed animated TV series, including the splendid Secret Saturdays, about a family of cryptozoologists (those folks who study and search for creatures such as Yeti’s, dino’s, Chupacabra’s and the like) out to protect the human race from such creatures… and the creatures from the human race. You can learn more by clicking here.
This post would not be complete without mentioning the ultimate horror-comedy cartoonist, Charles “Chas” Addams. His cartoons for the New Yorker are legendary, and the cast of creeps that were put together as a family for the “Addams Family” sitcom of the ‘60s have endured through two animated series, two theatrical features, a second short-lived sitcom in the late ‘90s, a TV variety special and TV movie, a direct-to-video movie and now a Broadway musical (and I probably missed a few items along the way).
...But none of that would have existed without Chas’ sublime magazine cartoons. Mike Lynch recently remembered Addams’ birthday on his blog which you can read by clicking here, and best of all, you can learn all about the great Addams exhibit currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York when you click here.
We’ll finish with a clip from CBS Sunday morning from some years back, when another wonderful Addams exhibit was on display at the New York Public Library – enjoy!